All systems go for Dinagyang Festival security – ICPO

The Iloilo City Police Office holds a security briefing with force multipliers in preparation for the kickoff of the 2023 Dinagyang festival on Dec 16, 2022. (ICPO photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon and John Noel E. Herrera

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, all security systems are in place for the celebration of the Dinagyang Festival 2023.

Major Shella Mae Sangrines, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) spokesperson, said that they have already ironed out the security preparations for all Dinagyang-related activities, especially the highlight on Jan. 21 and 22, 2023.

“We will just do fine-tuning depending on the adjustments that the IFFI recommends,” she said.

The Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI) is the main organizer of the Dinagyang Festival 2023.

Sangrines said they have already asked for an augmentation of around 2,000 policemen to the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6.

Meanwhile, Sangrines said that they are all geared up for the celebration of the Dinagyang 2023 Pamukaw, which signals the kickoff of the Dinagyang festivities, on Friday, Dec 16.

Sangrines said uniformed and covert police personnel will be mobilized to run after criminals involved in petty crimes and other nefarious activities that could hamper the peace and order situation of the City during the event.

The ICPO also cautioned those who will witness the events to be cautious of their personal safety.

“Please watch after your belongings like mobile phones, wallets, and jewelry, among others,” she said.

Sangrines has also encouraged the public to immediately report any incident or illegal activities to the police if they observe or witness any activity that may hamper the peace and order situation of Iloilo City.

As the Pamukaw will also be the start of the “Simbang Gabi” or early morning Christmas masses, Sangrines said the ICPO will also maximize the deployment of police personnel to churches and other places of convergence.

Meanwhile, the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc (IFFI) said that it already coordinated with ICPO on the details of the security plans in different areas.

“Ang amon discussion with the police is nga ma-center lang kita dira in front of San Jose Church and City Hall, and wala na sang lawig nga parada to avoid also unnecessary traffic,” Dinagyang Artistic Director Eric Divinagracia added.

This year’s ‘Pamukaw’ will take place early in the morning around 5 to 6 a.m., in front of the San Jose Parish Church.

“Sa nagliligad nga mga tinion, ang pamukaw nagakatabo sa hapon, sa gab-i, and galibot sa syudad through sadsad, and sa parishes, pero ang subong nga pamukaw, medyo unique kay matabo ni siya early morning, so ina bala gatulog-tulog pa kamo, pukawon na kamo sang drums, and we encouraged mga tao magbugtaw para mag-attend sang early mass,” Divinagracia explained.

Pamukaw comes from the Hiligaynon word “pukaw” which means “to wake up.” It features short tribe performances and drumbeats from the different participating barangay-based tribes to signal the start of the Dinagyang season.

Meanwhile, IFFI said that the selling of tickets for the “Dagyang sa Barangay”, “Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan” and “Dinagyang Ilomination” events will start on Dec 15, 2022.

Prices of tickets for the Dagyang sa Barangay and Kasadyahan will be at P4,000 for Gold and P3,000 for Silver, while the ticket price for Dinagyang Ilomination is P2,500.

Here is the list of places where the public can buy tickets:

For Dinagyang sa Barangay and Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan:

-Hotel Del Rio for Freedom Grandstand Judging Area

-GT Hotel for Quezon Ledesma Judging Area

-Richmonde Hotel for Rizal-Mapa Judging Area


For Dinagyang Ilomination:

-SM City Iloilo for SM City Iloilo Judging Area

-Festive Walk Iloilo for Iloilo Business Park Judging Area

-Seda Hotel for Atria Park Judging Area